1945-1960

Blaine Harden: King of Spies – The dark reign of America’s spymaster in Korea Mantle, 2018, 272 pp The character of the maverick cop, or even maverick spy, delivering outstanding results through unorthodox means and despite a disregard for hierarchy, is a familiar one in crime and spy fiction. Blaine Harden, who worked with Shin […]

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November literature night: Mary Lynn Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum

by Events Editor 28 October 2018
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A break from tradition this month. November’s book for discussion is a novel written in English, rather than one translated from the Korean. We’ll be there because we rather liked the book. White Chrysanthemum: A discussion with author Mary Lynn Bracht Wednesday 28 November, 19.00-21.00 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK Entrance Free – Booking Essential. […]

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Book review: Mary Lynn Bracht — White Chrysanthemum

by Philip Gowman 9 August 2018
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Mary Lynn Bracht: White Chrysanthemum Penguin Random House 2018, 320pp White Chrysanthemum, the debut novel from Mary Lynn Bracht, tells the story of two sisters, brought up on Jeju Island, who were tragically separated in the last years of the Second World War. The elder sister, Hana, is abducted into sexual slavery by a Japanese […]

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The Longest Tomb: Documentary on the Daejeon Massacre (1950)

by Events Editor 25 May 2018
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At SOAS next week: Film Screening and Q&A: The Longest Tomb 29 May 2018, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Alumni Lecture Theatre Facebook event page Knowledge is Power and The Education Centre for Peace and Reunification present The Longest Tomb, the first ever documentary on the controversial subject of […]

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Film review: Yu Hyun-mok’s Descendants of Cain

by Philip Gowman 13 April 2018
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I had looked forward to the first movie in the KCC’s Korean Novels on Screen series – Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil – and had been disappointed. Conversely, not being a particular fan of Yu Hyun-mok’s depressing movies, I was regarding the second in the series – his adaptation of Hwang Sun-won’s 1954 […]

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April Literature Night: Silver Stallion with Ahn Jung-hyo

by Events Editor 30 March 2018
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Ahn Jung-hyo is in town not just to talk about his novel Silver Stallion but also his Vietnam War novel White Badge, which will be screened at the KCC later in the week. We reviewed Silver Stallion ten years ago but that won’t stop us reading it again. Literature Night: Ahn Jung-hyo’s Silver Stallion 25 […]

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Japan Society talk: Escaping to North Korea – with Markus Bell

by Events Editor 18 February 2018
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Apologies for the late notice of tomorrow’s talk organised by the Japan Society, which may by now be fully subscribed. The speaker gave a fascinating talk at SOAS on broadly the same subject a few months ago, so I’d have high hopes of this one too. Escaping to North Korea – with Markus Bell 19 […]

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SOAS conference: Colonialism and its Reverberations

by Events Editor 16 January 2018
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A good half-day conference coming at the beginning of February. Check the event’s Facebook page or the SOAS website for updates. Colonialism and its Reverberations: ‘Comfort Women’ and Historical Revisionism in Korea and Japan Professor Yonson Ahn (University of Frankfurt), Professor Vladimir Tikhonov (University of Oslo), Professor Chong Yeonghwan (Meiji Gakuin University) 3 February 2018, […]

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Exhibition news: Memories of Korea, at Han Collection from 6 January

by Events Editor 18 December 2016
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An interesting exhibition to start the New Year: Memories of Korea – Cross-vision from East and West 6th – 28th January 2017 Han Collection | 30 Museum Street | London WC1A 1LH | www.hancollection.co.uk A collection of woodblock prints from both eastern and western artists, using traditional Japanese woodblock printing techniques along with a mix […]

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Korean War not quite forgotten in Canary Wharf art trail

by Philip Gowman 3 November 2016
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As we approach Remembrance Sunday, the walkways and open spaces of Canary Wharf have been adorned with works by artist Mark Humphrey in what is described as the UK’s first Remembrance Art Trail, in association with the Royal British Legion and constructed with the help of the Corps of Royal Engineers, consists of seven art […]

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New Paju footbridge honours Glorious Glosters

by Philip Gowman 25 October 2016
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I am grateful to the Association for the Study of Songun Politics UK for alerting me to the recent opening of a new bridge – the “Gloucester Heroes Bridge” – commemorating the role of British forces (and it was not just the Glosters, though they are the regiment who feature most prominently in the accounts) […]

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Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

by Philip Gowman 30 August 2016
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Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

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Film Review: Korean Undertaker and Not One of the Forgotten

by Philip Gowman 27 July 2015
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For about four years Bona Shin of Theatre for All has been getting to know some of the British veterans from Korean War, particularly those based in the Virginia Water area; and as she got to know them she decided to collect some of their memories and preserve them in documentary form. The resulting two […]

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Korea Post honours the Glosters

by Philip Gowman 5 July 2015
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Lt Col James Power Carne of the Gloucestershire Regiment appears on a new Korean postage stamp, part of a set of ten issued to mark the 65th anniversary of the start of the war. The BBC regional website for Gloucestershire has the full story. Keywords: General post tags: Korean War | UK-Korea links

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Press preview: Two Korean War documentaries

by Events Editor 21 June 2015
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For a while now Theatre for All have been working with British Korean War veterans, gathering their memories. Some of the fruits of their labours will be revealed this Thursday, the 65th anniversary of the start of the war, in a press preview in Kingston. You can register for the screenings at Eventbrite. Premiere screenings: […]

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Ghosts of Jeju to get another London screening

by Events Editor 6 April 2015
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Eighteen months ago there was a screening of this documentary about the 4:3 incident also known as the Jeju Massacre. There’s now an opportunity to see it again at a deli in Deptford on 27 April as part of the Free Film Festival. Free event. No ticket required, but capacity is only 40 so get […]

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Edinburgh Fringe visit: two Korean monodramas and one Korean American

by Philip Gowman 18 August 2014
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Korean acts coming to the Fringe have often majored on the non-verbal: percussion, taekwondo, comedy, physical theatre, music and dance. Last year, with Othello – Two Men, we discovered that more traditional theatre, heavy on text, can work well despite the language barrier – provided surtitles are visible. This year the Korean contingent was bolder […]

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